Time...It's A Tricky Business
So what's the plan? Go to the past where I kill an empress, then go to the present so i can prevent what will happen in the future from happening, then go even further back in the past and dont kill what i killed before so that i can go to the present and...!!! Yeah, what the hell?!
I'll tell you now, the plot is a little tricky to follow, but I'm sure you can all curb your brains round this second part of the trilogy with no confusion? Well i'll take a shot at helping you out at least. Incase you haven't played the first part, The Sands Of Time (SoT), I wont tell you the ending of that, but this game takes place directly after that. Basically, from the first game, the prince escaped death...good for him yes?...No! Now that he's escaped death, he has cheated fate and now there is a guardian beast called the Dahaka that is chasing him down and opting to kill him. Pretty much like that film Final Destination
, but it's based in Persia and doesn't have bad American acting, just a few rough voice-overs. Anyway, after that the plot thickens, but I'll leave that for you to find out!
So, you travel even further back in the past to the Isle of Time, to prevent you ever cheating death in the first place. No problem! I dont know if you've heard the rumours of this game, but you have in your possession, the dagger of time. And with this you can rewind time for up to 8 seconds. A fantastic feat in the game! Useful so that if you ever fall down a pit or lose grave damage to an enemy, you can press the trigger button and put yourself back to safety. It gives you so much more freedom to take risks. If you've ever had that feeling where you want to try out an idea of getting past an obstacle but you're afraid of dieing? Well...problem solved!...ReeeeeeeWind!
You can also slow down time, so that everything around you but yourself is slow. This helps if you're up against a fast-paced samuari or a really big and powerful geezer, slow down time, and you can hack them to pieces in milliseconds (in the eyes of the enemy anyway).
Now i swear that the prince is half monkey, or some form of grappliing animal. Because he can do all-sorts of actions to access inaccessible areas! He can run along walls, run up walls, jump from walls, balance on beams, swing from bar to bar, and a new feat in the game, slide down curtains (like Jackie Chan from Rush Hour, but with a knife). When he retires he should definately be in the circus with moves like that. The great thing about this game is the puzzlement of figuring out which of these moves you should do in order to get to your desired destination! And if you **** up, ReeeeeWind!
The fighting action in this game is pretty damn good aswell. You have many many moves, with different weapons (depending on where you are in the game). The sad thing is you soon learn that there a only a few real effective moves that work, and you just end up using them over and over. But it's still fun to mince up those sand creatures!
Blocking is pretty crucial in this game, as you get further in the game the enemies get much faster. But to hell with it, prince has his swords! And he blocks incredibly well, and it looks great. His dodging capabilities are top notch, but the reaction time of the gamer (or it may just be me) may slow down the prince a little! You have to be fast to fight in this game, but when you pull it off it makes you feel almighty!
The graphics are incredible in this game, and i think what makes it shine (no pun intended) so much is the lighting. It is perfectly portrayed in the correct areas, on the prince, on the objects, even on the little glass pots that you break to get sands. And i remember in one point of the game where the rays of sun shine through the cracks in between the floorboards, and i actually stopped in the game to look at it, tremendous sight!
The walls and ceilings have every crack according to physics up to scratch, the game has great detail in the environments. It's even in the same league as Metal Gear Solid.
Well the music alternates between rock guitar riffs for when you're slashing away and chimey, low droned music for when you're figuring out the dungeon puzzles. It all comes out in great quality, it sounds like dolby...but it's in stereo! I actually have a saved file dedicated to hearing an awesome guitar riff (in the library if you're interested). The sound effects are also up to standard, you can hear every groan of the prisoners and every growl of the sand creatures. You can even hear the granules of sand falling from the ledges you walk on. It really is fantastic.
Controlling the prince when monkeying around is pretty much flawless, as long as you time it correctly! It's very easy to learn aswell, you may have a few moments where you think to yourself, "is it this button?" and then fall to your death. But hey, i guess you can rewind if that happens, so no biggy!
When in combat however, it can be a tad late. You press a button to strike an enemy and the prince does it half a second later, and sometimes you end up getting slashed. There's also that problem of not getting up from the floor quick enough! When you've just taken a hard punch in the game and fall to the ground, and you want to get up quickly. You're tapping away at the A button loads, but only about 2 seconds later does he get up (this is why i lose all my Tekken
battles). It's little control blips like that that occur. But it doesn't ruin the battles, it just can get a little frustrating. But if you ever do get beaten to the floor, you can rewind to before you did eh?! What a great idea! Who would've thought it!?
Well, in the past, present and the future, this game would be a serious buy! Just the ability to control time makes it worthwhile. And if you've never played Prince of Persia, then I would get this game, as this is my personal favourite of the trilogy. It doesn't have that annoying trait from SoT where you have to stab the enemies with the dagger to kill them permanently. And it doesnt have enemies blocking constantly like they do in The Two Thrones. Get rid of your past consideration thoughts, and into your present definatley-buying thoughts! The prince would do the same.